With a sundry of shopping options—in-store and online, customer service is a major part of everyday business.
Here we will look at the top three brands revolutionizing the online customer experience and doing their utmost to keep customers happy.
Two decades ago, there was no Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Even Amazon had less of a presence. In the earlier years of the world wide web, companies didn't have to worry much about customers sharing negative experiences online.
But now the situation has changed.
Although it is common for businesses to have a company culture demanding the best customer experience, the truth is, many customers aren’t as satisfied with brands as they believe.
Sometimes customers are angry or disappointed in the service they receive. Nowadays, it's more important than ever to address these issues, because customer service has become a key business differentiator that can make or break a brand.
As such, nearly 89 percent of brands in today's market are seeking to stand out from the crowd by improving the customer experience, improving product quality, and meeting customer service expectations.
To do this successfully, companies must identify the factors influencing how customers feel about the brand. These could range from quality of in-store salesperson communication, to offering valuable FAQ answers on the company website.
Investing in the customer experience is extremely important.
According to a Walker study, by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. This means success will increasingly depend on the consumers’ satisfaction with the brand.
Many companies fail to see customer experience as the multifaceted strategy that it is — the three-legged stool, where each leg is of equal importance when it comes to the acquisition and long-term retention of customers. If any of the legs are missing, the stool will fall.
To create a positive customer experience, companies need a good support system, rapport with customers, and an effective layer of sales and marketing.
Indeed it seems that businesses should continue to care for clients long after they have passed through the sales funnel to manage customer experience successfully, with a recent Forrester report suggesting that customer engagement in the B2B space must extend beyond the traditional client relationship to ensure future success.
Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing Trends emphasized the importance of customer experience for distinguishing brands moving forward.
Standing out from the crowd is no longer about price and features; it’s about offering a top-notch customer experience.
There are several key customer experience trends revolutionizing the way brands treat their customers.
So, let’s have a look at three big brands and how they are enhancing the customer experience, and taking it to the next level—
Amazon.com is a champion not only of internet retailing, but the entire domain of customer satisfaction.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, places focus on looking after his customers and harnessing opportunities provided by the digital era. With 304 million Amazon customers, Amazon is an authentic, customer-centric company.
According to the Foresee Experience Index report, Amazon achieved 86 points (on a 100 point scale) for customer satisfaction. So what makes Amazon so successful?
The company has a customer first culture - The customer-centric focus comes from its CEO, Jeff Bezos and runs through the company to every employee (irrespective of their department). Collectively, they make sure that the central pillar of the company is always kept in sight— customers.
Amazon thinks of their customers first before creating any advancements:
Convenience - People lead very busy lives and demand convenience to help deal with this. That’s why consumers shop online from the palms of their hands via smartphones or tablets.
Amazon offers an excellent online customer experience, 9 out of 10 times there is no need to interact with customer support. Amazon’s frustration-free packaging, smooth delivery, product reviews and more, keeps their customers satisfied.
Customization - Amazon is an early adopter of customization through data, with its real-time customer browsing and product recommendations, to the overall buying history.
Proactiveness - Most brands don’t make an announcement on Forbes because of saving a user 16 cents, but Amazon did - taking the opportunity to proactively reach out to customers and help save them money.
Trust - As highlighted by the points above, Amazon cares for its customers. This helps create a high level of loyalty and trust in the brand. Bezos is even ready to forego extra profits for these two factors.
At times, when prices increased, Amazon didn’t follow suit because doing so would eventually erode customer trust. For Amazon, that loss of trust would be more costly in the long-run.
Apple is a true phenomenon, but what exactly is the secret behind the company's success? As revealed by Gizmodo, it comes from a focus on the psychology of customers, and in particular their emotions.
Apple instructs their employees to make use of the "3 Fs”— feel, felt, and found.
Apple offers their customers the best experience through a variety of methods:
Position the brand in the consumer’s mind before the sale - Apple’s “Think Different” campaign gave entrepreneurs and creative people a brand to identify with. Apple’s ad agency understood how to speak to target customers.
Apple product launches had extraordinary production values and employed Jobs’ unique showmanship, turning them into must-see events. Unique and creative branding placed Apple firmly in the mind of potential customers, far before a sale took place.
The Apple retail stores are stunning spaces, spectacles of modern design. All the Apple hardware is displayed on spartan wooden tables. This helps focus the mind purely on the products, which are beautiful designs in their own right.
A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.” – Shep Hyken
The customer support experience - If something goes wrong with an Apple product in extended warranty, there is no need to visit the store and wait there for hours. Rather, you can make an appointment, far easier to manage your schedule and save time.
Product packaging - Product packaging is simple but sleek. Many manufacturers don’t give packaging much thought, other than making sure it protects the product sufficiently. Apple’s packaging is a thing of beauty.
Organizations are often faced with the challenge of trying to provide customers an engaging online experience that goes far beyond a website.
According to one survey, FedEx Corp is recognized as an industry leader in the customer experience field. Customer experience includes every aspect of a company’s services—the quality of customer care, but also packaging, advertising, ease of use, product and service features, and reliability.
FedEx is delivering an outstanding customer service. Let’s see how they are making a difference:
Education— FedEx trains staff to have the skills required to not only meet customers’ expectations, but go beyond them.
Communication— FedEx encourages employees to share their success stories and client wins, employee and customer feedback, and ideas and strategies for enhancing the customer experience.
Listening— Encouraging feedback from the coalface is the best way for management to gain a comprehensive understanding of the steps needed to improve customer service.
Recognition— FedEx offers a strong rewards program (financial and non-financial) which it considers important in making sure teams deliver positive, memorable experiences to customers.
Innovations and advancements in technology are helping customer experience and every organization needs to get on board if they want to win loyal customers.
As social media becomes an indispensable part of everyone’s lives, growing a social audience has increased in importance. When it comes to delivering an outstanding customer experience, essential UX elements must also feature in your plans.